Chris’s M3 project

Forum for discussion relating to the M3 Lee nd Grant Medium Tank
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Chris Hall
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:00 am

Pete -

So you're not going to get a radio in there then :lol:. You should have gone for the Lee - so much sleeker and more aerodynamic :wink:.

Glad to see the M3 has now escaped into the wild ! You should start your own build thread, though, so we can see different perspectives.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Nige Dalton
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Nige Dalton » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:39 pm

Hi Pete

Good to see I wasn't the only little boy as excited as waiting for Santa! You beat me, I didn't pick mine up till Friday, so I guess you'r way ahead in the build. I agree about the turret, took me by a little by surprise, one mighty chunk of machined aly.

So for me spot of lunch, then page 1, road wheels!

Nige

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Nige Dalton » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:42 pm

PS
Back to turret weight, mine only the small Lee one and that weighs enough

Nige

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Nige Dalton » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:58 pm

PPS

An apology. I addressed my first post to Pete and it was equally intended to Chris.. My apologies Chris

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Chris Hall
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:49 pm

So that's at least three M3's out there, then. Better get cracking - can't leave all those boxes just standing there ........ :wink:

The first job is, of course, to get rid of all those bits of packing (which Jill used to call "Angel poo" :lol:). Then you can see what you've got - and there's a lot of it ! Those new machines at the factory are certainly paying off - there are parts, like the turret, floor pan, and sponson housing, that are now one piece where they would have been several in the 'old days'. So that's a good start.

I like to think of Armortek builds as a series of sub-assemblies, that all come together at the end. That way, if you hit 'the wall' you can switch to something else to recover your mojo. Fortunately, the M3 manual lends itself to that approach - I think the main assemblies are:
  • running gear (bogies, sprockets, tracks)
  • lower hull (including diff casing)
  • upper hull (front, sides and rear)
  • hull top and turret
  • detailing
  • desired conversions (throughout the build)
There may also be the need to build around the electronics - it's going to be pretty tight in there, and Kian says (as I mentioned earlier) that the motors are best put in before the diff casing (Stage 3) goes on.

Stage 4 - Hull floor and sides (scale).JPG
The floorpan and sides, with a 12v battery for scale

This means that you don't have to start at Stage 1 - in fact, I'm not going to. I'll probably leave the running gear until the end of the build as (a) it looks complicated, (b) I don't want to start compressing springs until I have to, and (c) given that there are tyres on the rollers I suspect it would be better to paint some bits first, and I'm using an unusual colour (yet to be ordered).

So, to start the ball rolling, I decided to start at Stage 4, with those long lines of rivets. I understand rivets, having build one (and a half) Mark IV's. But these are little ones, and very short, so they're glued and not hammered ! That saves an awful lot of time, but I can't help feeling slightly ..... disappointed (perhaps I'm a masochist :oops:). Once the glue has dried, I might use a punch to slightly mushroom the inner shank - I've seen rivets where the glue has vibrated loose - looks like a tank with acne :shock:. But none of the rivets on the M3 are load-bearing, or downward-facing, so it's not a problem.

It's also therapeutic ! This could be a very quiet build - I did it all in an hour, sitting down, with good tunes playing in the background. Makes a nice change.

Stage 4 - sides riveted.JPG
Stage 4 - always nice to see copper rivets

I think I'll tackle the diff casing (Stage 3) tomorrow. Then I can loose-bolt the whole lower hull together, and it'll start to look like something 3-dimensional.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Pete Nash
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Pete Nash » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:10 pm

Chris

Its good that 'we' are starting at different points, it diversifies the idiosyncrasies that we find in our builds, like what I have found with the wheels.

'Gluing' he rivets before rounding off the insides sounds like a great idea as it solves the problem of holding the rivets against the Snap while rounding off the other end. It can now be a one man job.

Next job for me will be washing the castings etc in paint thinners to rid them of oils etc. ready for priming (of course, after housework. No domestic for the past couple of years... :cry: )

Pete

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Chris Hall
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:35 pm

Pete Nash wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:10 pm
'Gluing' the rivets before rounding off the insides sounds like a great idea as it solves the problem of holding the rivets against the Snap while rounding off the other end.
Pete -

Gluing the rivets is the only real solution, as nothing sticks out to round off ! My idea was to tap the end of the copper shank with a punch to slightly splay them inside the sides EN0101. It should make them rock-solid, although it's probably overkill.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Chris Hall
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:11 pm

Stage 3 - the Diff case. Another therapeutic job with musical accompaniment, but with a couple of twists ...........

When fitting the Motor Mounts (EN0106, although that's not what it says on the parts list !), make sure to fit them the right way round, or they'll be wrong for the motors. From the look of the drawing the single hole should be at the top. It'll be fairly easy to correct, though, as long as you haven't covered up the M5x10 caps in EN0121. Incidentally, there's a nice deep recess for the caps, so no danger of them standing proud and carving into the front sprocket.

Pete Nash is right in suggesting that the shackle mounts / towing eyes (ED0622, Stage 24) can be done now. I can't see anything that will interfere with them, and it might be trickier later when the hull is assembled and the motors are in. I couldn't find any mention of what fasteners to use, but I had a delve through the spares box (any Armortek builder accumulates loads of spares !) and found that M3*12 button heads work fine. If they do foul anything later I'll have another think.

And one historical tweak, which doesn't affect the engineering at all, but will make your model more historically accurate (there's nothing worse than a busybody coming up to you and saying "you've got that wrong", believe me :roll:). The drawings suggest that the M3*10 hex bolts go on the inside of the flange, and the M3 nuts go on the outside. Examination of the Bovington and Duxford Grants, and all my pictures, show that it's the other way round - the nut should be on the inside. I also think that a 10mm bolt is a little too long, but I tried an 8mm bolt and it's too short. I don't think anyone makes a 9mm bolt, and I couldn't be bothered to file them all down, so I'm sticking with it. Colour me purist :wink:.

And the final results:

Stage 3 - Diff case (outside).JPG
Stage 3 - Diff case (inside).JPG

And that, sadly, is the end of my quality shed time for a bit. Family and work commitments beckon. When I get back to it I'll start tackling upper hull parts. I'm itching to get to work on the turret (I've never actually built one :shock:) but I need to order some extra bits from Monique. It's going to be majorly different, though ........

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Pete Nash
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Pete Nash » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:16 pm

Hi Chris.

Guess who has to change the nuts and bolts :(

As for the last one at the bottom. I did a milling job with a Dremel to get the M3X10 bolt and nuts to fit. I did think of leaving them out but thought that was the easy way out.

I wonder if Chris Fry is going to answer your question.

The fasteners for the towing shackles are given in step 24 as M3x10 CSK.

I am thinking of going round the inside of the hull with a sealant to make it waterproof so I can go through Denny's water feature.

What 'glue' are you using for the rivets on the hull sides?

Pete

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:39 pm

Pete -

Better now than later :wink:. Not being up to milling, I've ordered a couple of M2 bolts and nuts from a well-known auction website (alternatives are available).

As for sealant, I'd thought of doing that as well, for two reasons. It'll certainly protect the electricals. But, for me, it's also historical - 25 Dragoons landed in Burma from LST's, and everything was totally waterproofed beforehand. So it'll look better if some of the sealant actually seeps through to the outside. Gotta follow the primary sources :).

I use Loctite 638 - the big red bottle. Seems to be the one in the manual, but that's just a coincidence.

Have fun !

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Nige Dalton
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Nige Dalton » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:36 pm

Hi

Pete is not the only one who has to turn the bolts around! Good spot Chris

Nige

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Adam Andrews » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:15 am

Chris,

What glue works best for the rivets? Your not kidding about the manual. At first glance, the color manual looks very detailed until use start endlessly looking for what the correct hardware should be used on the Front Plates like ENO301 to EN0371, etc. Anyway thanks for the tips. Building an M3 Lee with motion packs in Kenosha Wisconsin.

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Chris Hall » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:09 am

Ye Gods, but it's been a long time since I devoted any thought to the poor old Lee ! Real Life is exceptionally difficult this year :(

I use Loctite 638, the old green faithful. But, as I mentioned earlier, I'm minded to lightly tap the shanks with a punch to mushroom them out for tightness. Given all the shaking up our models can get when running out (as they should be - why spend all that money on a static, showcase model ?), your pride and joy can easily end up with a bad case of measles ...... :)

I will be getting back to the Burma Lee soon, though. I picked up the electronics, and the alternative Grant cupola parts, at the Open Day. So no more excuses !

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Adrian Harris » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:42 am

> Real Life is exceptionally difficult this year :cry:

You and me both Chris :roll: . Hope things are settling down for you :?:

I used slow setting two part epoxy to glue in my rivets, with spring clamps holding them down whilst the glue set.

Adrian.
Contact me at sales@armortekaddict.uk for details of my smoker fan control module and other electronic gadgetry

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Re: Chris’s M3 project

Post by Pete Nash » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:25 pm

Hi CVhris

I used Mark Lawson's M£ castellated Nuts for the transmission cases, they are about twice the height of standard M3 nuts and hide the exposed threads.

Don't forget the Oil Level plugs :P

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